Questions tagged [books]

Questions about the English Language, with the cause for the question found in books read by the Original Poster.

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Please clarify the meaing of "the emigrants made open profession of ..." [closed]

Can you help me to understand this sentence from a book? The emigrants made open profession of ... (Judaism)
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Need grammar books that I can learn this sentences' grammar [migrated]

I've already studied some grammar books still I'm confused when I see such sentences: The list goes on and on, with the Devil being expressed in ever more subtle tones. These are political sermon ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the X called in the "X:Y" identifier?

An example from the info section of a book: Year : 1981 Author : Jean Baudrillard Subject: Postmodern Philosophy In general, it has the form X:Y. What is the left side (X) of the colon (Year, ...
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What is the meaning of interpolation technique as in "using an interpolation technique to deduce facts"?

What is the meaning of interpolation technique as in using an interpolation technique to deduce facts (a book review) Rice, Edward. 1990. Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton: A Biography. New York, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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"Round" versus "around" in contexts where "around" seems right?

In Tolkien's book The Hobbit, he constantly writes "round" when it seems to me as if it should be "around". Not just in one or a few places, but all the time. There is no way that ...
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"Why, ..." and "..., why?" meaning [closed]

I'm reading the Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn book to learn English and I wonder why he's using this "Why, ..." and what does it mean For example: "Too proud to crawl?" Kelsier ...
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13 votes
2 answers
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What does "Hamlet stool" mean?

I have read this in Maugham's "Theatre": She wrote her letters at a satinwood desk, seated on a gilt Hamlet stool.    [Source (PDF)] What does it mean? I have googled it and found tens of ...
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There is this sentence in the book "Fight Club" and I don't quite understand the verbs that are used, can you help me?

I'm reading a book called Fight Club and there is this sentence that got me confused: Marla had started going to support groups after she found the first lump. Now, past perfect is used in this ...
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What is "almost-grown cologne"? [closed]

And when I was thirteen Shawn welcomed me into teenage life with a spritz of his almost-grown cologne, said my girlfriend—       my first girlfriend— would like it. But she hated it so I broke up with ...
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What does "play at writer" mean in this context in the The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck? [closed]

" Bukowski wrote back to the editor: “I have one of two choices—stay in the post office and go crazy . . . or stay out here and play at writer and starve. I have decided to starve.” " What ...
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Synonym for un-scientific book by researcher

I am looking for a synonym for a kind of book/genre, that contains interesting information, but is not aimed at the scientific community, being polemical / political and not stringent enough to be ...
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How would you write the word /ˈtɪə.rɒn/? [closed]

I'm writing a book and made a word called /ˈtɪə.rɒn/ (reading it like TEARdrop + iRON, or something like TEARON). The story is supposed to be medieval fantasy and I'm not a native speaker so I'm not ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Why is there a space in the bowdlerised "L– ." in Jane Eyre?

I have been reading Jane Eyre recently and came across a sentence the other day: ...and away we rattled over the “stony street” of L— . There is a blank between "–" and the full stop, which ...
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What is the humor in "water's warm and deep" while relieving oneself?

The two men halted at the edge of the canal, hiked their tunics, then fumbled with their loincloths. Soon two arcs were gurgling across the filmy surface. “Hmm,” Xinemus said. “The water’s warm.” Even ...
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Intended audience for a book?

Is there an intended audience for a book, or intended readers? I want to say the targeted sphere of people that would buy and read the book. I mean, for whom the book was written. How do you say it ...
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A word (other than stationery) to describe a collection of 'paper, journals, books, invitations, wall art'

I am a designer and will be opening a store with 3 sections weddings, home and lifestyle. In all I will be selling wedding stationery suites (wedding invitations, place cards, menus etc) under the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Meaning of a sentence in A History of Britain about Edward I

I faced this paragraph in "A History of Britain" by Simon Schama: In the summer of 1263 the situation became critical. De Montfort and his allies had captured most of southeastern England. ...
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2 answers
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Strange case of "such as seldom"

Excerpt from the book about Paul Morphy and his visit to Birmingham: The cheers with which he was received were such as seldom came from others than Englishmen. I'm having a hard time understanding ...
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1 answer
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Understanding Epictetus' burning down of the Capitol

Excerpt from Epictetus' Discourses, Book I, Chapter 8 (emphasis mine): You know, I once said the same thing to Musonius when he reproached me for not discovering the omission in a certain syllogism. ...
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What does "call somebody's bluff" mean (in the context)?

I can't understand the meaning of this expression in the context. ‘Granddad was saying he was good for nothing, every badness was possible with him, but he didn’t drink and never had, so at least ...
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1 answer
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What does this quote of Elizabeth Gaskell mean?

How easy it is to judge rightly after one sees what evil comes from judging wrongly! -Elizabeth Gaskell
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Is there any difference between ‘twisted, knotted up, spent, exhausted, pure solid burnt out’?

In Donal Ryan’s book ‘The Spinning Heart’ there is such description: “…she died, twisted and knotted up and spent, exhausted, pure solid burnt out from him.” I wonder if these adjectives are ...
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39 votes
1 answer
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Etymology of *spreadsheet* / an anachronistic use

Near the middle of chapter 14 of Murder Under A Blue Moon (2019, Abigail Keam) a character (Dexter) says, "It is an up-to-date spreadsheet of all your assets and liabilities." The story is ...
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1 answer
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What does "whisper thin" mean?

This phrase is from Out to Get You: 13 Tales of Weirdness and Woe by Josh Allen (2019) and I'm not sure what it means by whisper thin. The cat was whisper thin and had a notch in its ear.
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is it a valid noun "the built"?

I am reading a book The Business of the 21st Century and came across the word "built" used as a noun. Building genuine wealth is as much about the builder as it is about the built. It is written ...
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Asking about Navigate coursebook of The Oxford University Press

I got 2 coursebooks of Navigate books bellow, I realize that the content of the two coursebook is different. My question is that why are there difference between those coursebooks? Does that mean ...
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1 answer
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According to book "Wonder"

The author wrote " But I'm kind of used to how I look by now. I know how to pretend I don't see the faces people make." I don't understand two sentences, can u explain it to me? And what does "Look by"...
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35 votes
1 answer
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Debussy as term for bathroom?

In Michael Bishop's SF book Transfigurations (1979), the author (in the course of the narration by the main character) refers in several instances to one or another "debussy", by which he evidently ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How do I clarify to readers that the bolded dialogue question is a rhetorical question?

Two characters, Scythe Master and Claudia, are having a conversation in this book I'm translating. The first speaker is Scythe. (Bolded part is what I'm 87% sure is a rhetorical question, based on ...
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Book accommodation at your hotel? is it right?

I was wondering if saying "book accommodation at your hotel" is right or should I say, "book the hotel" or something like that. thanks
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Connected speech resources

I am very interested in British pronunciation, so I am looking for resources about connected speech and IPA in general. The ideal would be a book with the transcription of dialogues or just ...
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What does it mean to "have an air of importance"?

What does the phrase in bold mean? This is given in the book "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens. The sentence: He was quite bald. His clothes were shabby but he had an air of great importance. ...
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4 answers
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Does "no" mean "I agree with you"?

“It was papa made me leave. I am a boy and I must obey him.” “I know,” the old man said. “It is quite normal.” “He hasn’t much faith.” “No,” the old man said. “But we have. Haven’t we?” ...
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1 answer
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Are the names of statues italicized in a books? [closed]

Writing a novel. Are the names of statues italicized in a books?
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1 vote
2 answers
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Why is there a comma instead of a semicolon between the statement "'I'm sorry, I don't cry as much'"?

I'm reading a book No Apparent Distress by Rachel Pearson and saw a comma between the following compound sentence "'I'm sorry, I don't cry as much." Why is there a comma instead of a semicolon? Is ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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the meaning of "Better off for it" and pronoun "they" from Stephen Hawking's article

The quote is: But we should have been wary of answering back (to the questions of aliens), until we have develop a bit further. Meeting a more advanced civilisation (aliens from other planets), at ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Zero articles in movie and book titles

Can you please explain to me, why sometimes there's no article in the movie or book titles, even if these titles are singular count nouns. For example: "Junky" by William S. Burroughs or "Alien" by ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Why is the math in Winnie the Pooh's so poor? Is it deliberate? [closed]

Earlier, I was reading Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne and lit upon this passage: Piglet is so small that he slips into a pocket, where it is very comforting to feel him when you are not quite ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the name of a written legacy of personal wisdom?

I am collecting the wisdom of elders, publishing in books their insights and stories, focused on the theme "What does your life stand for?" I wonder if there is a name for such books. Or if we can ...
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1 answer
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Use of made up words in writing

In writing, mainly seen in novel writing, how should we put a word that doesn't exist? for example, "We're screwed beyond levels of screwedness." Please don't tell me that's too unprofessional and I ...
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What is the term for a marginal letter in a printed book?

Sometimes there are marginal letters in old books that serve as sort of an indexing mechanism. An example is shown in the detail below: What are these elements of the book called?
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3 votes
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How should the name of a series of books be formatted?

I know that you underline – or if you're typing, you put the words in italics – the titles of books, and that you put chapters or quotations from a book in "quotes," but do you do anything to the font ...
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Is "Even so, we’ll keep walking" a valid sentence as a book title?

I was struggling to find a good title for a fiction I write, and a found this sentence in the english subtitles of a song. I'd like to know if it's a valid sentence as a standalone, or if it needs to ...
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1 answer
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What does “though less so ~” mean? [closed]

I’m reading a book about world history, and there is a phrase in a paragraph I have no idea: “They were mostly connected to productive hinterlands, though less so in the case of Perth than the others....
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5 votes
2 answers
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Subjective use of 'was' where 'were' would be expected (and indeed is immediately used) by Hemingway

I've just encountered a seemingly strange paragraph in Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, and I wonder if anyone can give me an explanation: If the boy was here he would wet the coils, he thought....
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4 votes
1 answer
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For the life of me I can't understand this sentence from Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight

To forestall the incursions of the dreadful Threads, the Pernese, with the ingenuity of their forgotten Terran forebears, developed a highly specialized variety of a life-form indigenous to their ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Am I interpreting these correctly?

Right now I am reading a chapter in Walden. There are two instances where I seem to be missing the mark because the summaries I read online (ie Sparknotes) do not corroborate the interpretation I'm ...
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Is it right to call a chapter of a book an "appendix"?

In Think Python, 2nd Edition the author states at the beginning of Chapter 21. Analysis of Algorithms: "This appendix is an edited excerpt from ink Complexity, by Allen B. Downey, also published by O’...
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2 votes
2 answers
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What are the specific words to describe lines/wrinkles/crinkles on a piece of paper or a book?

Are there any specific words to describe such things? Is it minor damages, wrinkles, marks, creases? Not a fold and I don't mean the crumpled ones that most people do before throwing to the trashcan, ...
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What does "secret handshake" mean in the context?

I've read the following sentences from a book: I wanted it so bad, I’d throw myself into practicing but somehow never got good —while other kids who weren’t putting in nearly the same amount of ...
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